Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 2017 Update

IRES Surveys
This spring, CSU, Chico participated in the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Student Technology Survey for the third time since 2013. The survey was released to over 16,000 undergraduate students from March 20th to April 14th.

The ECAR Student Technology Survey is an annual survey of undergraduate student use of technology sponsored by Educause (a non-profit organization of higher education IT professionals).

Though we have not yet received the results of this year’s survey, we do know that we received 1,821 responses (11.3%), up from 1,197 (7.7%) responses in 2015. Survey responses will be released in July, and will be posted to when they are available.

Some common themes from the 2015 ECAR survey include wifi, grade and progress notifications, use of technology, and mobile support. The complete survey results can be found at

This fall, CSU, Chico will be participating in two other surveys:
  • Educause Core Data Survey – a survey of central IT organizations at nearly a thousand colleges and universities across the US
  • TechQual+ Faculty and Staff Survey – a survey of faculty and staff perceptions of the quality of IT services on campus

Anti-Phishing Efforts: Don’t Take the Bait
Phishing represents the top cyber-threat to CSU, Chico.  Across industry, phishing is utilized in an estimated 93% of all successful cyber-attacks.  To combat phishing attacks, IRES units have worked to harden campus email systems to block spam and phishing messages, and have deployed numerous systems to identify compromised account activity and block malicious network links.  Unfortunately, no matter how extensive the technical security efforts are, it is up to CSU Chico students and employees to recognize and ignore phishing emails.  Don’t take the bait!

Phishing, or the use of deceptive email messages to entice a victim to do something they normally wouldn’t do, such as provide their password or click on an infected web link, is surprisingly successful.  Some phishing studies have found that on average 36% of a targeted population will be tricked unless the organization takes steps to raise awareness.

CSU, Chico IRES units including Information Security (ISEC), Information Technology Services (ITSS), and Creative Media Technology (CMT), have teamed up with Student Affairs and University Advancement Public Affairs to develop campaign tools and get the word out about Phishing.  From sandwich boards to social media to informative videos, efforts have been made to get the word out.

In the spring of 2017, ITSS and ISEC teamed up to deploy one of the most effective tools in the fight against phishing; an anti-phishing campaign tool called PhishMe.  PhishMe allows the campus to create fake phishing messages, which if they are opened provide phishing awareness information.  PhishMe is a CSU effort to address this important threat. 
Examples of PhishMe emails
As an integral part of the anti-phishing campaign, messages are sent to the campus after the campaign has completed to bring attention to the components of the message that were suspicious.
Phishing will continue to be a major problem for the campus, but it is hoped that through these efforts, campus students and employees will be more aware and less susceptible to social engineering attacks.

Project & Portfolio Management Improvements
There's never a shortage of new projects coming to Information Resources, and effectively managing those incoming requests and current projects is a priority. To that end, we are actively working to clarify and refine our process for new IRES project requests, as well as improving our communication about projects in the pipeline. 

New to the IRES web site is the Technology Projects section. This will serve as a hub as we develop guides, reports, and other information about our project and portfolio management work. There you will find links to diagrams outlining our new request process, a report of key emerging projects and initiatives, a report of all open IT Procurement Reviews (ITPRs) and more. 

We're excited to bring additional structure and transparency to our project management process. There's plenty more to accomplish, and we look forward to continuing to grow and refine the process in the coming year.

IAM Status
The current campus Identity & Access Management initiative began in earnest in 2015 with an RFP/RFQ process.  One of the primary objectives of the initiative was to automate provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts for faculty, staff, and students.  In June 2017, IRES launched Account Center, completing a very important phase in the initiative, accomplishing the goal of automated provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts in both directories (LDAP and Active Directory), Blackboard Learn, O365, and Google Apps.  This important first step lays the foundation for future automation to manage accounts and access in other campus systems and services.

Getting to this point in the initiative required hundreds of hours of work by almost every team within IRES and our stakeholder partners from Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, and Graduate Studies. We would like to thank everyone involved in the initiative for going above and beyond to get us to this point.  Thank you!

Significant project milestones are included below.  Many of these are major projects in their own right, but these were all required to launch Account Center.
  • Aligning Active Directory and LDAP directories to mirror each other as much as possible
  • Creating an affiliations-based framework for use by campus systems and services for provisioning and deprovisioning 
  • Development of an entitlements catalog
  • Creation of a development domain (csuc) (no development environment prior to the IAM initiative)
  • Creation of an Active Directory development environment (no development environment prior to the IAM initiative)
  • Creation of an LDAP development instance for Account Center testing
  • Creation of an O365 development environment (no development environment prior to the IAM initiative)
  • Creation of a Google apps development environment (no development environment prior to the IAM initiative)
  • Automated provisioning of employee, auxiliary, consultant and volunteer accounts based off of PeopleSoft data (prior to Account Center this was a manual process)
  • New self-service password recovery tools 
  • Automated provisioning of Active Directory accounts for all students
  • Automated provisioning of O365 accounts for student employees
  • New wireless access based on affiliations

As we work through the summer to shore up business processes and refine Account Center, we will also actively be looking ahead to map future phases to expand the automation of accounts and access.

A visual representation of the previous phases, and future phases that have been scheduled thus far, is included below.
IAM Roadmap

Data Warehouse Project (IBM ETL and Cognos Analytics) Status Update
The IBM Data warehouse project is in the early stages of roll-out to the campus users with an initial focus of three defined class schedule reports requested by the Academic Department Chairs.The request is to be able to identify classes that are exceeding enrollment and those that are considered light on enrollment. In addition, users of the data need to be able to "slice and dice" the data looking at various properties of student, instruction modes, course component makeup, and finally classroom facility (location/time of day).  

To facilitate this project from the ground-up with a new data warehouse structure, detailed definitions of the data were required.  Modern reporting techniques were utilized to enable future reporting and to allow for some reporting self-service and data discovery.

The three reports are the initial building blocks to the new data warehouse infrastructure.  To obtain the data required the data warehouse team of 2-4 project staff  had to build over 200 tables and process nearly 42 million rows of data.  Today we are able to do this in less than 12 minutes time, and we are doing it on an hourly basis to help with decision making while enrollment is occurring.

The reports and the data sets supporting the reports will be made available to department chairs and staff as they return for the fall term.  The next area of focus is to understand the number of requirements a student needs to obtain a degree and when the student anticipates taking the classes to fulfill those requirements identified.  This next phase of the project is to assist with campus decision making for Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI2025) objectives.

Intelligent Capture for Transcripts
In summer 2016, IRES collaborated with the Office of Admissions to evaluate options for improving the operations and processing of admission applications and transcripts.  We determined that Lexmark Intelligent Capture for Transcripts (ICT) would meet campus needs.  This powerful optical character recognition (OCR) module will live within our existing enterprise document management solution.  Unlike traditional template-based solutions, ICT uses advanced pattern recognition which accelerates transcript processing and data integration with PeopleSoft CMS.  Project planning is currently underway, and the implementation is tentatively slated to begin in late fall 2017. Implementation timelines are still being determined.

Planned Classroom Upgrades
Classroom Technology Services is upgrading 24 classrooms this summer.  These classrooms will receive new projectors, screens, computers, and switchers.  The audiovisual cabling infrastructure will be upgraded by TSRV to Category 6a cabling, enabling full digital compatibility.

MLIB 031, one of the hybrid distance learning classrooms, will also experience a full changeover to digital cabling and equipment.  031 will receive new cameras, flat-panel displays, switcher, and system controller.

MLIB 027b will be receiving the new Learning Glass technology, which will enable instructors to record their lectures while simultaneously writing notes and maintaining face-to-face contact with their students.  027b will also receive updated audio recording capabilities.

There will also be several new or updated conference spaces on campus this summer, for which CTS will be providing the technology design, and support.  Kendall 103, 114, 222e, as well as CE 201, and Tehama 211 are included in this summer’s work.

TargetX/Salesforce CRM
In fall 2016, IRES collaborated with Student Affairs to evaluate options for replacing/upgrading our current Customer Relations Management (CRM) suite of applications – Hobsons Connect and Hobsons Agile Grad.

We issued an RFQ and narrowed the list of vendors to TargetX/Salesforce and Hobsons.  Each vendor came to campus in November 2016 to interview stakeholders from 33 individual campus departments, and each vendor developed a total cost of ownership (TCO) for the fully implemented suite of applications.  The finalized proposals were provided to campus in spring 2016, and the contract was awarded to TargetX/Salesforce in April 2017.

Salesforce is considered a premier CRM solution, and TargetX provides features specific to higher education, built on top of the Salesforce platform.  Project planning is currently underway, and the implementation of phase I is tentatively slated to begin in late summer 2017 and to go live in spring 2018.  The primary objective of phase I is to replace the current Hobsons Connect application.

Graduation Broadcast Countries
CMT Media Productions recently took part in Commencement 2017.  Covering seven ceremonies, CMT Media Productions, multi-camera production was shown live at the University Stadium and also streamed on the CSU, Chico website.  In addition, Facebook Live was utilized and proved to be a big hit.  Between all seven events, the total number of online viewers was 66,383.

While that number set the record for the most online viewers, it also sets the record for global reach. Seen in 35 countries, the video stream allows families from all over the word to celebrate their student’s achievement. Saudi Arabia had 994 viewers watching, while India had 307.  Italy only had one viewer, however they watched the entire two hour stream from start to finish. Online viewership for the CSU, Chico Commencements has risen each year, and CMT Media Productions continues to work hard to insure that students, families and friends from around the world can take part in this important celebration. 

Access Layer Refresh
Over the past year, Computing and Communications Services (CCSV) has worked to upgrade network access equipment across the campus (the network switches in each building, which connect to end-user devices). This began last summer with the CNI project, a program out of the Office of the Chancellor, which funds the network equipment in most State buildings. The work continued with projects during the 2016/17 academic year, upgrading network electronics in Foundation and AS buildings, and concludes this summer with the replacement of switches in University Housing locations. To date, the combined projects have replaced 9,984 network ports, with another 1,992 to come by the start of the Fall term.

Beyond being a simple equipment refresh cycle, these projects reflect the strategic shift of the CSU from Cisco to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise for much of its network electronics, saving the CSU system well over $100 million over five years. The new Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise equipment also brings advanced capabilities and benefits over the legacy switches, including:
  • Dramatically lower cost per port/switch
  • Significantly reduced power consumption
  • Gigabit speed capability on every port (actual speeds may be limited by cable or end-device limitations)
  • Power-over-Ethernet capability on every port, easing the deployment of network-powered equipment such as wireless access points, cameras, and telephones
Reduced power consumption is a critical feature in network electronics, which are always powered on, 24x7, to allow for the continuing and changing communication needs of a building. The more efficient Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise equipment will save the campus more than 15Kw of continuous power – more than enough to supply 12 average US homes!

Power-over-Ethernet (POE) has been a key enabling technology for the campus, allowing the deployment of cameras, telephones, and wireless access points without the need for a wall electrical outlet – saving potentially hundreds of dollars per installation. Over a thousand wireless access points and five hundred cameras have been deployed on the network, with many more to come! 

Computing and Communications Services is committed to the campus principles of sustainability and stewardship, and is proud to transition the campus over to new cost- and energy-efficient equipment that will meet our communication needs for years to come.

Box Migration Update
In April, after months of planning and configuration, Information Resources began the process of migrating all faculty/staff and departments off the aging Bay file share into unlimited cloud- based storage provided by Box. 

To date, most of Information Resources has migrated to Box, along with several departments, including Social Work. We hope to migrate as much of the campus over the summer as possible, with a deadline to get completely off of Bay by the end of 2017.

With nearly 2000 users, 300 departments, and almost 10 terabytes of data to migrate, the Bay to Box migration is a major undertaking.

Though the migration software we are using automates the actual process of moving files, configuring the migration jobs is a complex process. 

C:\Users\adunn\Documents\Dropbox\Screenshots\Screenshot 2017-04-11 08.51.36.png
Cloud FastPath migration software
Departments are encouraged to begin the process of preparing for the migration now, so they are ready to move as soon as possible. For more information on the Bay to Box migration, visit

California State University, Chico Administrator Named to Blackboard MVP Program
Miroslav Lulic Recognized for Expertise in Education Technology
Miroslav Lulic, Distributed Learning Technologies Team Lead at California State University, Chico, was selected to participate in the Blackboard MVP Program. Run by education technology leader Blackboard Inc., the program consists of faculty members, administrators, educators, and instructional designers who have proven themselves as leaders in the education technology community. They regularly demonstrate expertise in Blackboard technologies, share their expertise with other clients, and actively share feedback with Blackboard on the company’s products and services.

Members of the Blackboard MVP Program are selected through a competitive application process and possess the following qualifications:
  • Knowledgeable: MVPs stand out as experts in either technical aspects or application of Blackboard technologies.
  • Engaged: MVPs demonstrate leadership in the community and foster a collaborative community of users by volunteering to present, lead and share readily.
  • Accessible: MVPs represent the voice of the community and openly share feedback with Blackboard. They are accessible to help other clients in a timely manner.
  • Collaborative: MVPs are committed to answering questions, sharing best practices, knowledge of Blackboard products and their expertise with the educational community. They work with their fellow Blackboard users to improve the application of Blackboard technologies for the benefit of all users and education overall.
Members of the Blackboard MVP Program receive exclusive access to professional development trainings and are invited to private product briefings and roadmap sessions with Blackboard executives. They will also share their expertise by answering questions and assisting other users on the Blackboard Community site and through their own personal blogs, Blackboard blogs, social media, Tweetups, virtual office hours and more. 

“I am proud to welcome our newest MVPs and recognize their commitment to sharing knowledge and best practices around educational technology with the larger education community,” said Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President of Blackboard. “Blackboard MVPs are truly helping improve the learning experience and addressing important challenges in education.”

For more information on the Blackboard MVP Program please visit:

University Print Services
University Print Services is a high-quality production print facility offering one-stop printing and copying for campus departments and auxiliaries. The shop provides a full range of printing, finishing, and bindery for departments such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, flyers, posters, note cards, folders, invitations, exams, brochures, and more. 

Customers place their print and copy orders online using NowPrint. This allows users to submit files and place orders without leaving their office. Once a file is uploaded, it is automatically converted to a printable PDF. NowPrint also allows users to personalize business cards, letterhead and other items through the use of digital templates.

Additionally, Print Services offers automated mail processing that can speed preparation time for large mailings by using specialized software for addressing, inserting, sorting and preparing materials for the U.S. Postal Service. Using electronic address lists, the addresses are printed concurrently as the materials are being printed (everything from postcards to newsletters) for the best postage price available. In addition, Variable Data Printing (VDP) is offered. VDP allows printed communications to be personalized and the text and image can change according to the individual recipient.

University Print Services is currently located on campus in Siskiyou Hall, 118, x5992.

Meet the Print Shop Staff
Tiffany Drobny joined University Print Services as a Reprographics Specialist in 2008. Prior to coming to work at Chico State, she worked at FedEx Kinkos and has over 15 years of experience working in the industry. Raised in Chico, Tiffany is married to Michael (a Chico local) and they have four awesome children, Braiden (16), Gabriel (11), Zachary (6) and Emilia (1). When Tiffany finds time for hobbies, she enjoys creative crafts and outdoor activities like kayaking, go-karts in the mud or hiking with the family.

Kathleen Huber joined Print Services in 2013 as an Administrative Assistant. She provides the campus community with great customer service for all printing needs and is the first point of contact for jobs that require bulk mail services. She also worked closely with the Office Copier Program before it moved to IRES/ITSS. Prior to coming to Chico State, Kathleen held positions at Fashion Optical Displays, Videomaker Magazine, Chico Printing, and many years of graphic services for Chico Schools and non-profits. Kathleen grew up in Paradise, graduated PHS, and attended Butte College. She and her husband, Scott have been married for 22 years and have three amazing kids, Kaley (28), Liam (20), and Alita (18). She has both parents and lots of extended family in Chico and nearby where she gets to see them often. They are a big “birding” family which has taken them on adventure all over the U.S. and Mexico. They are also involved in the local Snow Goose Festival each year as well as many conservation efforts. In her spare time, Kathleen loves to garden, paint, hike, camp, and adventure just about anywhere.

Joe Hilsee recently celebrated his four year anniversary as a Graphics Specialist/Desktop Publisher with University Printing Services. However, his relationship with CSU, Chico reaches back much farther as he has served as a student, faculty member and staff member at various times since 1984. Prior to joining Print Services, he worked as a graphic designer and marketing specialist for Auctiva Corp. and Fifth Sun Apparel as well as lecturing for the Department of Theatre here at Chico State. Joe currently volunteers as the Artistic and Marketing Director for the Blue Room Theatre in downtown Chico, where he also directs and acts in many productions throughout the year. 

New Employees
Lisa Baker joined IRES Admin Service Center (IASC) in October as our new Budget Accountant. She came over from Financial Accounting & Reporting in Kendall Hall.  Lisa has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and brought over 25 years of public accounting, private for-profit and governmental accounting experience with her. Lisa was born and raised in Chico, lived in the greater Seattle area for 8 years, and is very proud to be back in her hometown raising her family.  She is a busy mother of 3 very active children and enjoys watching them play sports nonstop (or so it seems at times).  Lisa enjoys doing almost anything outside in the fresh air! 

Ange Bledsoe joined Creative Media and Technology as an ITC for Classroom Technology Services on     March 1. She previously held positions at Chico Unified School District, Milestone Technologies, and Stonewall Alliance Center. Before moving to Chico in the summer of 2011, Ange worked in a variety of healthcare positions including emergency medicine, cardiovascular services, and massage therapy. Shortly after arriving in Chico, Ange continued working on her education and in May 2013, received a BA in Geography from Chico State. Since then, she’s been busy getting married, buying a house, and settling into the area. When she isn’t working, you can find Ange hiking in Upper Bidwell with her dog, Oliver, at home in her kitchen cooking or baking something magically delicious, or in front of a computer planning her next international destination for her wife and herself.  

Aldine Ruble joined Applications and Data Services (ADS) as an Analyst/Programmer in January 2017.

Satya Paruchuri joined Enterprise Applications in March.  Prior to joining Chico State, he was a PeopleSoft programmer working for 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles.  Satya is enjoying a full time,  non-consulting job and is looking forward to getting married this fall.  He enjoys watching movies and long drives.

Laura Thomson joined IRES Administrative Service Center (IASC) as an Accounting Technician in April 2017.

Paul Hildebrandt is a media producer and film maker from Chico, CA. He brings with him 7 years professional experience creating a wide variety of projects ranging from documentary features, commercials, event video, short films, and others. He recently completed production of a documentary feature film about NASA and US Space Exploration titled “Fight for Space” which is in theaters and available digitally. Paul has been creating films since high school and continues to learn and explore new methods of filmmaking while pushing forward his career in the media field. Paul is happy to join the CSU Chico team and looks forward to the creation of exciting videos with the CMT department.

Tracy Petit joined Enterprise Applications in November.  His professional career prior to joining Chico State has been in many industries from insurance, aerospace; healthcare, investments, transportation and higher education with a combined total of 31-years in software development of which 24-years has been PeopleSoft. Most recently he spent over 8-years at Hyland Software where he was responsible for the entire PeopleSoft Enterprise. Tracy is married and has one teenage son.  His wife, son, dog and two cats will be moving from Ohio to their new home in July.  He enjoys being an aircraft pilot and recreations that include motorcycling, skiing, power boats and snowmobiling. His hobbies and interests include photography, home theatres, high-end audio systems, recording musicians and providing sound mixing, woodworking, hiking and traveling. His travels have taken him all over the world from Alaska to Europe, to South America and to every state in the USA, but never to Hawaii! He has always returned to California after each adventure.

Chris Hansen joined IT Support Services (ITSS) as Desktop Engineering Lead in November. He provides enterprise software and OS support solutions for campus Mac and Windows desktops and laptops. Chris has a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and has worked in the tech field for over 20 years. His IT experience includes help desk, servers, enterprise application, and data center support. Most recently, he worked for Humboldt State University in Arcata as a Mac specialist and SCCM tech. Chris just moved to Chico in November, and enjoys riding his tandem bike with his wife Kate, while their two labs languish in the shade. They (the humans) also enjoy art and musical events, camping, cooking, and anything to do with the great outdoors. The dogs enjoy eating, playing, eating, sleeping, and eating.

Shannon Grubert joined IRES Administrative Service Center (IASC) in January 2017, she is currently IASC's Admin Support Coordinator.